Hasbro Takes Its Games to the Movies

"Why does Hollywood make comic book movies, movies about novels and [about] video games?" he asked. "It's always looking to tap into the next big thing. Historically, it's always done that. Back in the 20s, Hollywood looked to radio shows, like 'Zorro' and 'Flash Gordon,' pulp novels, Shakespeare. It has always looked to other mediums for creative inspiration."

Today's executives, many of whom were children in the 1980s, are mining their childhoods for inspiration — hence, the recently announced "Smurfs" movie and the forthcoming "G.I. Joe" movie, Kit said.

He believes a new "Clue" movie would fare far better than its predecessor.

"We're a much more pop culture-obsessed world, where brands have more power," he said. "Brands are more pervasive in today's world."

And today, when studios are spending nine figures — anywhere from $100 million to $150 million — on a blockbuster, they want to hedge their bets as much as possible.

"Having brand recognition is one way to guard their nine-figure investment," Kit said.

Dergarabedian explained that, "from a branding perspective, there's a built-in awareness and fan base. Hence, the appeal of turning these things into a movie."

Walter argued that it is such a safe approach, that it has removed the originality from many films.

"I know audiences want to get what they expected," he said. "But I don't want what I expected. I want to be challenged and provoked and, ideally, changed completely by a film."

Walter explained that the "blockbuster mentality" also makes studios take fewer risks.

"Everything must break the bank in one weekend," Walter said. "It used to be you would open in one theater and after the movie caught on, it would go wide to more cities. Now, you open wide and if it doesn't catch on Friday night, it's done."

So, how far will Hollywood go to get a blockbuster?

"Pretty much anything out there that's popular could conceivably be made into a movie," Dergarabedian said. "We haven't seen a film based on cereal yet."

Stay tuned.

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